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English Department

Honors Program

Click here for the updated Application to the English Honors Program
The Honors Program offers to qualified majors the opportunity to pursue advanced studies that culminate in the writing of a senior thesis. The thesis may be a critical, creative, or hybrid project Students who write the thesis and who successfully complete the other Honors requirements may graduate with Honors or High Honors in English. Students interested in writing a senior honors thesis should enroll in at least one Honors section by the end of their junior year.
Requirements for Honors in English
To graduate with Honors in English, students must:
  • Complete all of the requirements of the English Major with at least 6 credit hours in Honors Sections (if appropriate for a particular Honors Thesis, a graduate seminar in a study-abroad program may be substituted for one Honors Seminar).
  • Be admitted to the Honors Program in the Spring of your Junior year.
  • In your Senior year, complete 3 credit hours of English 4998 - Honors Colloquium
  • Write a thesis in English 4999 - Honors Thesis [3 credit hours]
  • Pass an oral examination on the thesis topic.
  • Maintain at least a 3.4 grade point average overall and a 3.5 GPA in the Major.
English and Secondary Education double majors who would like to consider Honors should consult the English Director of Undergraduate Studies: Julia Fesmire .
Honors Sections
The Department of English generally offers two Honors Sections each semester in its schedule of English courses. Honors Sections are open to any student who has completed the College Writing requirement and who has at least a 3.4 GPA.
Honors Sections fulfill the same requirements as regular sections if those courses. Students who have taken either the Honors or the regular version of a course may not enroll in the other version for credit. Many students take these more advanced sections even though they do not intend to enroll in the Honors Program. 
For current Honors Section offerings, see below.
Senior Year Honors Curriculum
English 4998 - Honors Colloquium is a 3 hour course with the Director of the Honors Program taken in the fall semester. It features shared readings, which vary from year-to-year, and includes discussion of critical approaches, research methods, and selection of thesis topics. This course will count toward the standard Major should a student drop out of the Honors Program.
English 4999 - Honors Thesis is a 3 hour independent study course in which the student writes their Honors Thesis. It must represent an additional 3 hours of work for any Major. Students are placed in semester-long reading groups that meet regularly. Generally the class meets as a plenary group only 2-3 times per semester.
The thesis is supervised by the Director of the Honors Program and a second adviser is appointed from the English Department. The thesis is due in early April and is ordinarily 40-80 pages in length. It is graded by a committee, consisting of the Honors Director, the appointed adviser, and an additional faculty reader. The oral examination will be on the subject area of the thesis and will be administered by the same committee.
Grades in English 4999 - Honors Thesis are awarded by the Honors Director in consultation with the candidate's committee. The grade is based primarily on the written thesis, but also on performance in the oral examination and the quality of participation over the semester. 
Students who make a B- or below in ENGL 4999 receive credit for the course, but are ineligible for Honors English. 
Students who make a B to B+ ordinarily receive credit for ENGL 4999 and Honors English.
Students who make an A- or above will receive credit for ENGL 4999 and become eligible for High Honors in English.
The committee, guided by the Director, may review the candidate's record before deciding whether to grant Honors or High Honors.
Honors Sections
Fall 2014
  • ENGL 214a, Prof. J. Lamb
  • ENGL 274 - Melville, Prof. C. Dayan
Spring 2015
  • ENGL 251, Prof. L. Marcus
  • ENGL 288 - Race, Immigration, and Identity, Prof. I. Nwankwo
Fall 2015
  • ENGL 3314 (formerly 220) - Chaucer, Prof. J. Plummer
  • ENGL 3890 - Movements in Literature: Existential Literature, Prof. M. Schoenfield
Spring 2016